Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Massive Problems in Procurement

The Public Accounts Committee have today published a report into defence procurement. The report by MPs is critical of cost increases in four of the MoD's main programmes and says that more needs to be done to make sure that projects stay on time and on budget. Liam Fox said: "Radical reform is needed to prevent spiraling cost overruns and chronic delays to ensure our Armed Forces are properly equipped...More information »

Cathedral Tour

A celebration of English music will be captured in a Cathedral Concert Tour by the Bands of the RAF. The Spring tour will see performances at Gloucester, Peterborough, Lincoln, Winchester and Ely Cathedrals. Philippa Hayday-Brown said: “We hope audiences will leave feeling uplifted and with a deeper understanding of our wonderful musical legacy performed by outstanding musicians...More information »

Rationalisation of the Defence Estate

Liam Fox, has announced the intention to establish a new Defence Infrastructure Organisation. The change falls out of the SDSR commitment to rationalise the Defence estate, including the sale of surplus land and buildings. The DIO will replace the existing Defence Estates organisation. He said: "Our Armed Forces and their families deserve the best possible facilities in which to live, work, and prepare for operations...More information »

Friday, 18 February 2011

'Endgame Afghanistan’ Watch on itv player

Watch on ITV Player ‘TONIGHT - Endgame Afghanistan’ The programme was shown on 17 Feb and gives an insight into the lives and roles of the RAF personnel serving at Camp Bastion. Presenter Morland Sanders follows a day in the life of RAF Chaplain Flt Lt Adrian Dyer, talks with RAF medical and Force Protection staff on a Medical Emergency Response Team, talks with the Stn Cdr and goes out with 34 Sqn RAF Regt...

If You Have Invested in Property through Blueforces

Blueforces is a property specialist company which has ceased trading and applied to go into liquidation. The company advertised its services widely to Service personnel and although this is an entirely private matter between those affected and the company, Blueforces is believed to have held significant sums of money on behalf of Service personnel and RAF Community Support are advising that...More information »

DELAY to Redundancy Announcement due 15 Feb 11

Detailed policy information in support of the redundancy programme was due to be made available on 15 Feb 11. We are able to confirm that there has been a delay to this announcement. Some important points of detail are taking longer to receive ministerial approval than had been anticipated. It is hoped the information will be made available within the next few days...More information »

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Disposal of SFA at RAF Daws Hil

Following the decision to dispose of the RAF Daws Hill site Defence Estates have issued information of the implications for SFA occupants. Occupants will be advised individually of the impact on their SFA and how DE Ops H will handle the relocation. There is an Occupants' Consultancy Meeting being held at the Daws Hill site on 24 Feb 11 at 6.30pm to answer any relocation questions and address specific concerns... 

Dawn Champions the Cause in the Heart of Government

Following Dawn's appearance before the House of Commons Armed Forces Bill Committee she gave an interview to BFBS Radio's Shirley Swain. In it Dawn explains why she and her fellow Chairs from the other two Families Federations were there and what she hoped to achieve for RAF families ...More information »

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The Facts not the Fiction

The Daily Telegraph today features a letter from the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton. It directs the public to the truth rather than the hearsay of RAF redundancies. The facts about the 170 RAF student pilots surplus to the future front line requirement and their planned removal from the Flying Training Pipeline is also detailed here...More information »

Monday, 14 February 2011

Trainee Pilots No Longer Required

The Telegraph is reporting that 1 in 4 pilots still in the training system will be told tomorrow they are no longer required by the RAF. The Telegraph reports that up to 20 trainee fast jet pilots, 30 trainee helicopter pilots and 50 trainee transport aircraft pilots will go in announcements at Valley, Shawbury and Cranwell on Tuesday. The MoD will not comment on the report... 

New Rat Packs are Lightweight and Easy

Troops on the frontline are enjoying new and improved operational ration packs. They include a lightweight version and many new menus. Designed for troops on the move the new packs weigh less than 1 kg. The food can be easily carried in webbing and pockets and eaten quickly whilst on the move. One Paratrooper said: "They are a great change from the normal rations are great for a quick meal...More information »

Friday, 11 February 2011

'Any Questions' for Liam Fox

Jonathan Dimbleby this week chairs the topical discussion from Red Maids' School in Bristol and with him on the panel is Liam Fox. DR LIAM FOX is Secretary of State for Defence. He had been Shadow Secretary of Defence and last autumn was embarrassed and appalled by the leaking of a letter he had written to the Prime Minister outlining his concerns in advance of the SDSR...More information »

Early Bird Tickets for RIAT

Organisers of the Royal International Air Tattoo are urging people planning to join them in July to buy their tickets before the end of February to take advantage of their cut price early bird tickets. The Early bird price is £34, representing a saving of up to £9 per ticket. All accompanied under 16s get in free of charge ...More information »

Thursday, 10 February 2011

MoD's Response to Last Night's Panorama

Last night's BBC Panorama programme questioned whether the Government does enough for Service personnel as they transit to civvy street. The programme featured service leavers, some with mental health problems, who spoke about their experiences adjusting to life outside. Here, Dr Liam Fox explains what the MoD is doing to support serving personnel and veterans...
More information »

LIVE NOW! - Watch RAF FF Giving Evidence

Dawn McCafferty, Chairman of the RAF Families Federation is NOW live on Parliament Television preparing to give evidence to the House of Commons Armed Forces Bill Committee. Dawn's contribution will be broadcast at 12noon. The committee have been in session since 10.28am. Dawn's evidence is entirely based on views received by the RAF Families Federation from Serving RAF personnel and their family members - Your evidence...More information »

RAF Morale - RAF FF Speak Live on the BBC

In a live interview with Joanne Malin on BBC Radio, Dawn McCafferty, Chairman of the RAF Families Federation, gave the Federation's view on Wednesday's headline news. Dawn speaks about the Military Covenant, morale within the RAF and why it is that Service Personnel and their families should be given fair consideration because of the unique role they play in the defence of this country...More information »

Being Married to a Member of the Armed Forces

In the Daily Telegraph, Lady Caroline Richards, wife of the head of the Armed Forces speaks of the challenges of being married to a member of the Services. She speaks of the dangerous work they do and of the long absences. She says, “People always say: 'Surely you knew what you were letting yourself in for’. But you don’t. You find out for yourself by being thrown in the deep end...More information »

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

This Mornings News Furore

This mornings news furore on the crisis of morale within the Armed Forces was sparked by the Royal British Legion's accusation that the Government had reneged on the Military Covenant. The Army Families Federation Chief Exec then took up the mantle to talk about CEA (Board) and the results of their own survey on the subject widening it in some interviews to represent wide dissatisfaction and low morale...More information »

Quick Vote - morale

Quick Vote - Do you consider morale in the RAF to be as low as suggested in todays headline news?

Children's Education Allowance (Board) - What is Happening?

Many RAF family members have contacted us to express concerns about the on-going review of the CEA (Board), with the current DASA survey creating particular anxiety. The RAF FF Chairman met with the Head of the Review Team, Mr Martin Fuller, at MoD on Tue 8 Feb and received a comprehensive brief on the methodology behind the Review. Mr Fuller confirmed that he was under remit to reduce the cost of the allowance and his Review. Whilst conducted at a faster pace than he would wish, he is examining a very wide range of options, all of which need to be costed and then presented to the Ministers, with appropriate staffing via the command chain of each Single Service before any decisions are made...More information »

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

On the (Civvy) Streets

Panorama on Wednesday evening focuses on those whose service for Queen and Country counts for nothing when it comes to finding work and a home in civvy street. In the programme 'Forgotten Heroes' Colonel Tim Collins meets veterans who struggle and fear for their sanity. He also talks to families who try to cope with husbands and fathers who come home from operational deployments, strangers...More information »

Imprisoned for Bringing Cigarettes in on Military Flights

Three RAF personnel have been imprisoned for bringing cigarettes into the UK on military flights. Sgt Stuart Walker, Cpl Stuart Helens and SAC Paul Garbutt admitted conspiracy to cheat the public revenue at Bristol Crown Court and were given custodial sentences of two years; three years; and three years, four months, respectively. Judge Michael Longman said all three had abused their positions of trust...More information »

Privatisation Suspended

The planned privatisation of the search and rescue helicopter service, which would have seen the demise of RAF Search and Rescue, has been suspended amid concern that the bidding process was compromised. It is thought Soteria, the supplier of choice, received commercially sensitive information prior to their bid. The MoD Police are investigating...More information »

Monday, 7 February 2011

Quick Vote - CEA SURVEY

CEA SURVEY. A survey on CEA has gone out via Dii. If you are receipt of CEA have YOU received the survey? If not, please let us know by email:

Relief for Columbia

A C-17 Globemaster from Brize has flown to Colombia to deliver vital aid to victims worst affected by the floods. More than 3,860 square miles of Colombia is underwater in a disaster that has so far claimed hundreds of lives and left thousands more homeless. C-17 Captain, Flt Lt Ben Mountfield, said: “It is a privilege to be involved with this humanitarian mission. The C-17 has a world class lift capability...More information »

Seventy Years of Saving Lives

The RAF Search and Rescue Force are commemorating seventy years of saving lives. To celebrate it is planned to have the fleet of yellow RAF Sea King helicopters decorated with a 70th Anniversary emblem which will also appear on a set of first day cover stamps for the Falkland and Ascension Islands. Sqn Ldr Spike Wright from Valley said: "It’s important we remember the devotion to duty...More information »

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Harrier for Sale - on ebay...

'Ultimate Business promotional tool, Garden feature, Gate Guardian'. This ex 4 Sqn 1970's Harrier could be just what you are looking for. Chris Wilson an ex-RAF mechanic is selling the aircraft on ebay with a starting bid price of £69K. His advertisement reads, 'This is a unique opportunity to own a decomissioned first generation, two seat Harrier aircraft. A very rare, truly stunning, striking example...More information »

Mass Irritation over CEA Survey

Following our story 'Beware CEA Survey' and the Army Families Federation press release this afternoon, there is much irritation about the CEA Survey. Who has been asked to complete it; Who has not; A lack of access; Irritation at the way the questions have been phrased; The questions that are being asked... We too consider it to have been been very badly handled. Dawn McCafferty the RAF Families Federation Chairman is meeting with Martin Fuller, who is leading the Ministerial Review into CEA next week, and will be feeding in all comments made by RAF personnel and family members. We would encourage anyone in light blue, serving or non-serving, to let us know what they feel about CEA Board as the more evidence we have, the better. But please do it soon as the first opportunity to show our dissatisfaction is next week...More information »

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Calling all Reservists (and their Employers)

The Prime Minister announced in October he was commissioning a review of the Reserve Forces to ensure that MoD makes the most efficient use of Reservist skills, experience and capabilities. The Study, known as Future Reserves 2020 will report in the Summer. Online now is a survey in support of this work asking for inputs from both Reservists and their Employers. Closing date is 16 Feb...More information »

Impact of Foreign Postings on Spouses

Gillian Carter is a PhD student from the University of Plymouth. She is experiencing her first foreign posting with her husband. Gillian said, "I felt it was the ideal chance to find out what experiences spouses have on a foreign posting and whether being on one was better or worse than they imagined it would be!" Gillian is now hoping for your input to help with her research...More information »

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

In Recognition of Problems Caused by Service

The Armed Forces mental health services are to receive a £7.2m boost under new plans announced by the Government. Liam Fox, said: "In the course of their service the men and women of our Armed Forces go willingly into situations that test them to the limits. They see and experience things most of us will never have to face. It is easy to recognise physical injuries but some will have mental scars too...More information »

Allowances - Giving the Federation Line...

The shake up to the allowances paid to servicemen and women announced are designed to save more than a hundred million pounds from the MoD budget. Dawn McCafferty, Chairman of the RAF Families Federation, in an interview with Richard Hutchinson on BFBS Radio, gives her reaction to the changes and who they will hit the hardest...More information »

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Our Stories in RAF News - I am Leaving and I am Just Not Prepared...

Dear Families Federation, I am about to leave the RAF at my 22-year point and have suddenly realised how badly prepared I am for the transition to civilian life. I am divorced and find myself with 64% of my pension allocated to my ex-wife, as well as the family home, which she kept when we separated. I live in the Block so have no home to go to. Although I have a new partner, she lives in Housing Association accommodation with her children and if I were to move in, this would impact on her entitlement to benefits, something I don’t wish to inflict on her. I have no job to go to although I am going on a series of training courses so hope that will help. At the moment I’m facing a very uncertain future and I wonder if you can help?...More information »

RAF REDUNDANCY Programme - How it Will Happen

The RAF is to conduct a compulsory redundancy programme which will consider both applicants and non-applicants, as part of the Regular Armed Forces Redundancy Programme. The RAF programme will consist of up to three tranches starting in this financial year. It is anticipated that up to 3,000 RAF personnel will be made redundant in total...More information »